There are over 1000 chemical compounds in roasted coffee, but why do so many of us want to wake up and smell it?

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Image: This is why you love the smell of coffee

Rahim Packir Saibo / CC-BY-SA 2.0 / Flickr: therahim

We all know that social niceties go out the window when there’s just one cup of freshly brewed coffee left in the pot.


It’s not our fault: when it comes to coffee, you’ve got to look after number one.


Now, chemistry teacher Andy Brunning has explained the complex collection of chemical compounds that are responsible for making those beans smell so darn good.


According to science, coffee contains molecules for almost every enticing scent, such as fruity, floral, smoky, spicy and sweet. There’s even a "catty" aroma for those who are into that.


On the teacher’s Compound Interest blog, he explains that caffeine in coffee is essentially odourless and tasteless and that it is the bean’s organic compounds that create that enticing smell.


“Compounds have to be airborne in order for our nose to be able to detect their smell," writes Brunning, adding that even less the appealing whiffs in coffee (such as methanethiol which smells of rotten cabbage, don't you know) "with the other compounds add nuances to the aroma".


Confused? Check out this handy little infographic to help you on your merry coffee drinking way. 

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Get your caffeine fix with this dates with coffee and cardamom recpie, coffee-rubbed pork ribs or coffee and walnut cake recipe